Keeping Up with Kevin Doyle

I first got to know Kevin Doyle about a dozen years ago when I saw his play Styrofoam at Feed the Herd’s Stampede Festival. Styrofoam is a sharp satire of consumer culture — very funny and very pointed, and I loved it. (At the very end of last year, we finally got Kevin to publish it on Indie Theater Now; check it out.)

I reviewed Styrofoam enthusiastically on nytheatre.com. What happened next surprised me…a lot. Several weeks after the review went up, I got a letter in the mail from Kevin. Handwritten, a couple of pages long. In it, Kevin told me how much he appreciated what I’d written, and then introduced himself in thoughtful detail, letting me know about some of the influences on his work and projects he was considering. The amazing thing about the letter: he didn’t want anything at all. Just wanted to make contact.

Happily, I have stayed in contact with Kevin ever since. The Position–his play at Ice Factory in 2005–is published in Plays and Playwrights 2006. not from canada (which premiered at FringeNYC in 2007) is also on ITN. I’ve seen most of the other plays he’s had staged in NYC, and for a while we had a New Year’s Day brunch tradition going on.

I hardly ever see Kevin’s work lately, though, because most of it happens in Europe. Kevin has had remarkable success in Belgium and Sweden, in particular; in fact he was in Belgium last fall at the time of the serious terrorist attack there. He’s prolific and ambitious, stretching as an artist and examining a number of important resonant issues in new works being developed with arts organizations literally all over the world: this and this and this and this. In the photo is Kevin with another funder/presenter, the Bicentennial Swedish-American Fund.

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To all of which I just say: congratulations, Kevin, on all your hard work. I hope some of it will get seen here in your home country. (And I will keep haranguing Kevin to put more of his plays on ITN!)